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Book Reports

May 28

May 28, 2010

Sorry for the lapse in BOOK REPORTS...guess I have been pretty busy...or pretty lazy...

Last you all heard, we were getting ready for the Newport-Miami, guitar show at The Hard Rock Casino. It was great! Lucas Brunner had my new "Outdoor Guitar" on display when I showed up at his booth.

The guitar was custom built to my specifications and surpassed my expectations! It is a small full size guitar shaped like a 1928 Gibson L-1 (Robert Johnson). Back and sides are book matched maple, neck and headstock veneer, also curly maple and the fingerboard and bridge are ebony. The tobacco sunburst all over really make it quite striking! Sounds and plays great too and it packs up into a custom knapsack which should be quite airline friendly. Lucky me!

The show was great fun, playing various builders guitars and having dinners out with friends and family.

After weeks of packing the bus for the annual extended road-trip, Nancy and I started North to MERLEFEST. A large time was had by all up that way. THE GREATEST ACOUSTIC BLUES SHOW ON EARTH, was one of the best of all the years that I have been involved.

Highlights included "one man band",BEN PRESTAGE, a Florida boy who amazed and wowed enthusiastic new fans with his cigarbox guitars,drums,harps,fingerpickin' botleneckin' brand of country blues.

Harry Manx (studied in India) went over terrifically as well with his unique "Mystic-ssippi Blues style". Elinoir Ellis another Merlefest newcomer brought to life some of Memphis Minnie's old style and her singing was just beautiful.

A real treat was the new pairing of old Merlefest friend Phil Wiggins with Corey Harris. Together, they carried us all back to the Delta where the blues began so many decades ago.

And of course, John Hammond was in great form, as a matter of fact, after 40 years of seeing and hearing him play, I can honestly say he was never better!

As you could imagine, there was plenty of good Bluegrass, Old Timey, and Newgrass at The festival as well and I did enjoy getting to visit some with Doc & Rosalee Watson. Hard to believe that I first did a show with Doc & Merle 40 years ago! With 3 days of sunshine a very large time was had by all.

We then spent a week at THE INTERNATIONAL STORYTELLING CENTER, in Jonesborough, TN. They host a different storyteller for every week of the season, building up to THE NATIONAL STORYTELLING FESTIVAL which is always held in early October and draws a huge crowd from all over the country. Do try to attend one year, you will not regret it! I do feel very honored to be included in so many of their events.

We made our way up North, got to visit friends and family, hang out with "The Mom", who will be 96 years old next month and still knows who I am and loves me! She is doing great and is enjoying her new Great Grandson, Dylan. Congrats to The Nephew & his Wife Seema! My great Niece Sofia (going on 3)is not as thrilled about her new brother as the rest of the family is.

Had a nice gig at The Rosendale Cafe, near Woodstock and enjoyed visiting my pals Alex and Bill who again took me and Nancy too this time, fishing on The Hudson River. God bless Pete Seeger!

So, my friends, we are now in Cleveland (I do miss not seeing Robert Lockwood) and getting ready to kick off the Westward leg of the tour across the Mississippi River headed to the West Coast.

Bye For Now,

The Book & Mrs. Book